Photography

The Eclectic Menagerie is full of whimsical, larger-than-life sculptures

Roadrunner

e•clec’•tic men•a’•ger•ie
:
site south of Houston with an eclectic collection of concrete and metal sculptures

sculpture garden curated by Texas Pipe & Supply with larger-than-life rusted steel and stainless steel sculptures by local artists

Elcectic Menagerie Park. A private collection of massive steel monsters guarding a Texas pipe works.
—Atlas Obscura

Driving south of Houston on Texas 288 over the years, I have marveled at the giant animal sculptures along the freeway. I was excited to see new additions as I drove by, but never stopped to look. Then I researched The Eclectic Menagerie Park, located on a narrow strip of the Texas Pipe & Supply property. I made it my mission to stop and smell the (metal) roses.

Jerry Rubenstein, Chairman of the Board of Texas Pipe & Supply, started the outdoor sculpture museum decades ago with a couple of concrete animal statues. He commissioned local artists Ron Lee and Mark Rankin to create about two dozen metal sculptures, from a giant dinosaur and armadillo to a fishing rod and reel with Jerry's old red pickup truck caught on the lure. A stealth bomber stands at attention as Snoopy flies his Sopwith Camel. A semi truck cab is stuck in the dirt, waiting to be towed out. King Kong hangs menacingly on a crane and colorful cows stand on a surfboard up in the sky.

Enjoy a sample of the Eclectic Menagerie images below. 

Eclectic Menagerie Gallery

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Design, Photography, 0 comments

Entropy. The Beauty in dirt, rust and decay.

Lichen and moss on rock

en’•tro•py 
:
a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder

Entropy. It's a natural phenomenon, a measure of chaos, disorder and randomness in a system. It's part of the life cycle, where things ultimately decay and the cycle starts anew.

life’•cycle
the series of stages in form and functional activity through which an organism passes between successive recurrences of a specified primary stage

I took a series of random walks through manmade and natural settings—in search of interesting lines, forms, colors and textures—and found beauty in rusty, dirty and decayed things.

Some observations from these walks:
  • colorful moss and lichens on rocks improve with time.
  • rust patterns on manhole covers, sewer grates and checker plate metal are attractive.
  • usually overlooked, thistles other weeds have exquisite forms and colors.
  • fungi on decaying trees have unusual shapes and rich textures.
  • earth cracked after months of drought reveals beautiful, random patterns.
  • dirt splashed on a fire hydrant or squashed by giant tires creates uniform patterns. 

Enjoy these things while you can; they are temporary. At the end of their life cycles, they crumble into the earth or wash away, only to start the cycle again. That’s entropy, returning things to an orderly state. Enjoy my photos below. 

Entropy image gallery

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Design, Photography, 0 comments

Old, rusty, abandoned equipment provides great photographic subject matter

35mm filmstrip, abandoned farm

Old, rusty, and abandoned equipment fascinates me. It has rich lines, angles, and textures, even though its colors are faded. A large property south of Houston, Texas provides a backdrop for a recent photo session. Perhaps a farm in its former life, the City has walled off the property with a six-foot fence and planted vines along this fence that, eventually, will obscure the view of what some feel is unsightly. Suburban progress encroaching on this old, rusty aesthetic.  

Rusted steel drums, corrugated metal and giant tires rest peacefully next to a barbed wire fence. A Corvette body sits on the ground, a shell of its former sleek design. A rusty axle reminds me of an old plow. A couple of Case excavators and an old John Deere Tractor sit idle, as if their operators took a lunch break and never returned. But there is life, as Black Angus cows and their petite newborn calves graze near a once-colorful dump truck. They look at me as I snap photos. 

I want to go inside and get a closer look at these interesting items, but the electric fence warns me to stay out. I enjoy what I see from the road…

Abandoned farm Photos

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Design, Photography